The maintenance-free, web-connected non-pneumatic wheel may fit autonomous vehicles.
Goodyear announced the development of maintenance-free airless tires. They will be equipped with a connecting web. The connection combined with the shearband that supports the weight of the vehicle, will give the tire a compliant feel.
“Airless tires need no maintenance, increase comfort with heavy loads and are reliable,” Michael Rachita, Goodyear’s Senior Program Manager for non-pneumatic tires explains. “There’s no need to check pressures on a set of airless tires, which eliminates the need for regular monitoring. On top of this, the tire’s structure means that a vehicle can keep running — even when something goes wrong.”
The technology may fit autonomous vehicles.
A number of backup systems make sure the vehicle can perform well. “Because of the connecting web structure, the tire can still operate as normal, even if something happens to it,” Rachita continues. “The airless structure means we can lose a number of the connecting elements and it can continue for many, many miles without any concern.”
Goodyear is aiming for the US Department of Transportation’s DOT-approved applications for this technology. “It is still several years away as the company works through more technical iterations of its airless tires,” Rachita adds. “The non-pneumatic tire development effort at Goodyear is wrapped under a technology bold goal to produce the first 100% sustainable material and maintenance-free tire on the market by 2030.”